Armed conflicts, civilians debased by both terrorist groups and dictatorial governments, a worrying repression of dissent and waves of populism and racism experiencing a staggering rise, are in the words of Gianni Ruffini, director of Amnesty International Italia, an indication that the world is moving backwards as far as human rights are concerned.
In the mid-1970s democracy seemed to have fallen to an all-time low. In Latin America, two of the most successful democratic stories, Uruguay and Chile, were violently overthrown by military coups in 1973, while only two years later Indira Gandhi declared a state of emergency in India, cancelling a general election and eliminating the most basic civil freedoms.
If we want to understand what is going on today in France, we need to start by saying something about the global geopolitical trend, of which France is obviously part. If a single phrase could summarize the global geopolitical trend, we should say that we are witnessing an era of shift of power: in the last four decades, the geopolitical axis of the world has been shifting from the “developed countries” toward the “developing countries”.
In all countries, established political parties have the dangerous propensity to counter this electoral wave of populism by adopting the issues and language used by them. Political scientists have long believed that when a country succeeds in achieving a democratic transition, creating stable institutions and accomplishing a certain level of wealth, it has a rather low risk of an authoritarian backlash.
Alireza was in Kabul when he received his father’s call urging him to leave the country. A letter signed by the Taliban requested the immediate closure of the English institute that Alireza was directing in Ghazni. After having received a second letter including death threats, Alireza understood he and his family had no chance but to flee the country. The father sold his bakery and the house and paid a smuggler 32.000 dollars to get Alireza, his wife and his two other children out of Afghanistan.
The latest of a raft of measures adopted by US President Donald Trump only a few days after he was sworn into office, the executive order on immigration has sparked heavy criticism in the country and around the world. The measure is intended primarily to suspend the national refugee system temporarily, and the Syrian refugees programme indefinitely, and to deny entry to the US to individuals from seven named, majority-Muslim countries (Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, Yemen) for 90 days.
Political repression in Egypt ravaged the Jama'at al Ikhwan al Muslimiin, the Muslim Brotherhood, formerly the strongest and most organized opposition group in the country. In today’s Egypt, the youth no longer recognize the old administration. They no longer believe in the non-violent tactics preached by the Brotherhood’s exiled former leadership, like Mahmud ‘Ezzat and Ibrahim Munir.
Perhaps not everyone knows that in Italy, in spite of an impelling need to regulate the traditions and customs of Islam, which counts has about 1.4 million followers in Italy, there is no agreement  stipulated between the state and “Islam”. This premise is fundamental for understanding the chaos surrounding the practice of this religion in Italy. The absence of a formal agreement with Islam leaves an enormous void for Muslim believers who find obstacles when it comes to practicing their faith on a daily basis.
Kusai only talks about returning home to Syria. Navigating the Islamist checkpoints and shoot-to-kill Turkish border guards to reach the destroyed city of Aleppo is preferable to waiting for the border to open. The slight and pensive 16-year-old boy had hoped to join his brother in Germany, but had spent two months stranded in a refugee camp at Eleonas, Athens, praying for the Macedonian gateway to central Europe to reopen.
He was one the first people to sign a petition protesting the Turkish government’s military operations against Kurdish areas in his country at the beginning of this year. Not even the attempted coup d’état of July 15th, which was neutralized by the government, has softened his criticism of President Racep Tayyp Erdogan. Cengiz Aktar, a professor of international relations at Istanbul’s Bahcesehir University, has a hard time describing his country as a democracy.
In his articles, published in many Turkish as well as in international newspapers, Mustafa Akyol argues against Islamic extremism and terrorism, as well as gives his international readers some precious analyses and insights on the political and social situation of contemporary Turkey. Akyol’s book, “Islam without extremes: A Muslim Case for Liberty” (W.W.Norton, 2011) was long-listed in 2012 for the Lionel Gelber Prize and was praised by The Financial Times as “a forthright and elegant Muslim defense of freedom”. Akyol is a well-known Turkish intellectual whose ideas shape the Turkish, as well as the wider Muslim, debate. These are some of the reasons that convinced ResetDoc to invite him, once again, to Rome, where, on September the 14th he spoke about “Turkey After the failed Military Coup”, in a conference organized by the ResetDoc, in collaboration with Istituto di Affari Internazionali (IAI).
According to data published on September 6th 2016 by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, there are almost five million Syrian citizens living in Turkey, Lebanon, Jordan, Egypt and North Africa, comprising a total of 4,799,677 people who have fled the war, among them at least 1.5 million children. While Turkey is the country that hosts the most in proportion to its citizens with 2,726,980, it is Lebanon that has the most in total with 1,033,513, which amounts to about 25% of the country’s inhabitants.